Ajibade Basit: Two Poems


To all enemies of poverty


Rushing wave of sweats and stales,
Shared and scattered among many hills,
Like a covering blanket,
Only for the chilly night.

Owner of many stores on lands,
From the Nile, your waves spread,
And the Niger opposed thee not,
For the Zambezi adoreth thee.
And ravaging you are on the lands.

Crowns and beads fear thee with intense,
Hoes and spades befriend thee from the past times.
With thy fangs and pangs, none is spared,
Sweet servitude you gave to many bones and bloods.
And savaging you are on all lands.

Wondering freely like a cloud,
That floats on high hills and lowly streams,
When all the men seeth thou to be avoided,
A host of many entertain thee with loves.
And ravaging you are to the lands



Little Jade from the estate of no house,
Your heart
Your eyes
Thy timidity
              Is safety
And your next meal
Your safety
Your little hopes
              Out fades

But little do you care of the presents,
Little good sweet joys from you flows.
And you forgot the tears, the cries and pain.
And you forgot the fruits on the upper layer of trees,
And you forgot the bath where water run,
And you forgot the chilly autumn breeze
as told by the American.

But alas,
The hope in you is rekindled from little sparks,
And great joy you paved unwary of pains.
Little jade will grow from the estate of no house
To be a big ruby with many estates.


This is part of Nigerian Voices Today, a 7-week series featuring young Nigerian poets, curated by Babatunde Babafemi. Check out Week 1, 2, 3.

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